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Are You Done Having Kids Yet?

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Recently, there was a lively discussion about third kids on a mom e-loop I belong to, something my husband and I have been pondering for years. Some moms talked about how two kids are manageable, but with three everything is harder—traveling, eating out, finding a sitter, affording them all. One mom who’d had two kids followed by (surprise!) twins said she thought it would put them over the edge, but the twins have been great for their family. Another undecided mom mentioned that one thing she can’t shake from her head is the number of older people who have told her they wish they’d had more children. Then there was a mom who told of meeting a woman with four kids. She asked how she knew she’d wanted a fourth, and the woman answered, “When I thought of my family portrait on the mantle, someone was missing.” 

On most days, I’m plenty happy with two kids, and plenty busy. And spending plenty of money! I worry that having a third would detract from the attention I give Max, who had a stroke at birth and has cerebral palsy; he’s doing miraculously well, but he needs as much of my attention as he can get. And I worry that three is tempting fate. Max had something crazy happen at birth, Sabrina was born perfectly OK. Could we have another healthy child? But, then. I love children. A third could be beneficial for Max in all the ways that Sabrina has been—he sees her doing stuff and he’s motivated to do it (though I wish she hadn’t taught him to pour bubbles into the coffeemaker). Life would be hectic, sure, but we’d settle into some sort of routine, just as we did with one kid, and then two.

Our latest thinking: ??? And furthermore, ??? Insights from moms of three welcome!



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